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pay £15,000 costs as well as being sentenced to eight months; John O’Rourke, who runs Mansfield Fire Protection Services, was ordered to pay £5,862 in addition to his eight-month sentence.

These sentences were despite the fact that no actual fire had occurred. Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service carried out routine inspections at both of Mr Liu’s premises and established that fire precautions were inadequate. Fire risk assessments carried out by Mr O’Rourke had overlooked a number of serious deficiencies which would have left occupants seriously at risk had a fire occurred.



number of kitchen fires and the danger to life that they cause”.

The London Fire and Rescue reports that, in many cases, owners and operators of kitchens claimed to have had in place a duct cleaning service, only to discover, following a fire, that the key flammable cooking grease

deposits had not been properly removed from the inside of the extract duct, so that the grease supported and worsened a fire that started in the kitchen.

The frequent fires in commercial kitchens are causing insurers to require that proof of regular professional extract duct

cleaning is retained for presentation to the insurance company in the event of a claim.

IMPRISONMENT FOR FIRE SAFETY OFFENCES A recent case in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, has shown the extent to which fire authorities are taking a tougher line when dealing with those who do not follow fire regulations. A fire risk assessor, John O’Rourke, and David Liu, who runs both the Dial Hotel and the Market Inn in Mansfield, were both jailed for eight months and ordered to pay costs for breaching fire safety regulations.

David Liu pleaded guilty to fifteen fire safety offences under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, and was ordered to

Brian Hogg, a Fire Division Manager at safety experts PHS Compliance, said that such behaviour is far from unusual, and that fire risk assessments can be completed by anybody, regardless of whether they have had appropriate training.

“British Approvals for Fire Equipment (BAFE) and other bodies have been lobbying government to enforce the implementation of systems requiring that an organisation and its employees carrying out fire risk assessment have the right training, skills and certification” he said.

Gary Nicholls explained that Swiftclean will visit restaurants and catering kitchens free of charge to assess fire risks and report on the legality of the state of the kitchen extract ducts.



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